UK-based wine writer Jane Parkinson picks her standout summer drinks
Take your pick from these 12 international thirst-quenchers, as selected by UK-based wine writer Jane Parkinson.
Hello holiday season, hello holiday wines. Our wine needs – yes, needs – are manifold during the glorious summer months, not only to celebrate all those extra sunshine hours, but to also make the most of the festive season.
First up on the must-have holiday wine list should be magnums – their bene ts cannot be over-exaggerated. For starters, you get more for your money than paying for two single bottles. Secondly, they add an extra sense of theatre to any wine-drinking occasion. Thirdly, there’s less chance of corkage and/or wine variation than when opening two bottles. Fourthly and fifthly, it should taste better because it matures more slowly and ages longer thanks to the smaller proportion of air inside the bottle. Finally, bringing a magnum to a party makes you look like a supremely generous person. What’s not to love about all of that?
If a standard bottle is still the way forward, then sparkling wine should be high on your list at this time of year. e point of good traditional-method zz is that it has high acidity and is fantastically refreshing during the hot months. As we know, bubbles say celebration like no other wine and as great as Champagne is, there are plenty of other countries now making excellent sparkling wine. England is right up there. Not a Champagne copycat by any means, it’s wholly di erent and typically more apple- avoured than what most producers make in north-eastern France.
Meanwhile, the popularity of the pink-wine juggernaut shows no signs of stopping; rosé is now a crowd-pleaser for people from all walks of life and its versatility with food is well known, making it a no-brainer party pour. In Europe, Provence is seen to own this style, but keep an eye out for those from alternative origins, from Spain to Austria; they o er just as much character from local red grapes.
No matter how sweltering the weather can get over the holiday, for many people red is still the only answer. Why not look to the lighter red wine styles? ese days, the choice extends well beyond Beaujolais, as good as that is. And let’s not forget that the gamay grape is becoming an increasing success elsewhere, especially New Zealand and Canada. Meanwhile, the Jura in France makes a habit of producing pale, low-alcohol and extremely characterful wines from local grapes such as poulsard and trousseau.
Ah yes, here’s to the delicious holiday wine haul.